Battlefield Earth 2000 ***

The turn of the century is a time for visionary works; 2000’s Battlefield Earth certainly has a wide scope. This notorious attempt at a blockbuster has attracted much attention for the oddness of the content; for Scientologists, it’s a misadventure to forget in terms of translating L Ron Hubbard to the screen, while for non-Scientologists, it’s something of a laughing stock. In the year 3000, Tyler (Barry Pepper) leads a revolt of humanity against the Psychos, led by Terl (John Travolta), who have enslaved earth. The Psychos like to laugh at the degradation that have caused mankind, mocking them for eating rats, but inspired by reading the Declaration of Independence in an abandoned library, Tyler teaches his fellow man how to build jump jets and a revolution is on. Director Roger Christian jams Battlefield Earth with so many dutch tilts that the film is genuinely hard to watch, but there’s something fascinating about the whole enterprise, a space opera handled with a seriousness that belies the pulpy nature of the story.


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